Fresh Strawberry Pie

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Fresh strawberry pie is a once-a-year summer treat! This easy strawberry pie is made with low-sugar pectin and cornstarch and a buttery crust. Serve the strawberry pie immediately by itself, or with whipped cream or ice cream.

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Oh my, strawberry pie! Will someone please make this for me for my birthday?

Anyone born during the summer months would be honored to feast on this strawberry pie on their special day. Personally, I’d take a fresh strawberry pie above cake any day of the week, but especially on my birthday.

The goal is of this easy homemade strawberry pie is to simply highlight the freshness of the berries at the peak of the season.

Fresh Strawberry Pie in pie tin ready to slice

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How to Make Strawberry Pie

I love strawberry rhubarb pie, don’t get me wrong, but for the sheer bliss of strawberries at their peak, you really cannot do better service to them than with this homemade strawberry pie.

The strawberry pie filling is simple: sliced strawberries held together with a glaze made from pureed strawberries, low-sugar pectin, cornstarch and lemon juice. Pack those slices into a buttery baked crust, and then decorate the top halved strawberries. The whole thing is prettier than a picture!

Let the strawberry pie chill for as long as you can stand it (about an hour), and then dig in without delay.

Messy Pie is Part of the Charm

A note that cutting this strawberry pie can be tricky. The strawberries will cling to each other, and while you’ll be fine cutting the pie into slices, just a heads up that this strawberry pie won’t be as firm and solid as versions made with Jello or gelatin.

Expect something in the middle: jammy ripe strawberries loosely held together in a buttery crust. A few rogue strawberries will likely tumble out onto your plate!

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Eat Strawberry Pie Immediately!

Don’t try to make this strawberry pie the day before; it doesn’t do well overnight in the refrigerator and is best served fresh, just like the berries. In any case, I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long to eat this fresh, simple strawberry pie!

More Great Strawberry Desserts!

Updated July 22, 2020 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle and add some clarifying instructions to the method steps. Enjoy!

Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie (6 to 8 slices)

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 pounds (about 4 pints) strawberries, hulled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons low-sugar or no-sugar powdered pectin (like Sure-Jell)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

Special equipment:

Method

1 Blind bake the crust: Roll out the crust and ease it into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges, then refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Line the pie crust with parchment paper or foil, then fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Remove the pie weights and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is lightly golden. (For full blind-baking instructions, see this post. If using a store-bought pie crust, follow the directions on the package for blind baking.)

Cool the pie crust completely before assembling the pie.

2 Prepare the strawberries: Cut in half 15 of the largest strawberries (about 1 pound) and set aside for the top of the pie.

Cut the remaining strawberries into thin slices.

Set aside whole strawberries to top the fresh strawberry pie

3 Make the glaze: In a blender, puree 2 cups of the sliced berries with the sugar, pectin, cornstarch, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and set over medium high heat.

Stir the glaze constantly until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Once at a full rolling boil, boil for 1 minute. The glaze should be easy to stir and slightly thickened. If it seems like the the glaze is thickening to more of a jelly-like consistency remove it from heat immediately.

Transfer the glaze to a large bowl using a spatula and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Scoop out and set aside 1/4 cup of the glaze; you'll use this for the top of the pie.

The glaze for Fresh Strawberry Pie in a pot

4 Fill the pie: Stir the remaining sliced strawberries into the bowl of glaze until evenly coated. Spoon the filling into the pie. Level it so that all the slices lay flat, like shingles. Arrange the reserved, halved strawberries on top.

Thin the reserved glaze with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, and brush it over the pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie filled with sliced strawberries and topped with whole strawberries, with a serving spatula nearby

5 Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the glaze is set. The pie is best served on the day it is made. Texture of the pie as you slice it will be loose, with some berries tumbling out as you serve.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mary Anyanwu

    Lovely dessert. Can’t wait to try it !!!

  2. Thomas Ripa

    You can buy the strawberry gel at Wal-Mart or stater brothers in the dele produce section
    You can also make fresh blueberry. Pie with an 18oz package of blueberries and the strawberry gel
    Makes an awsom pie
    You can also use a Graham cracker crust
    No bake for a quick desert

  3. JT

    I will definitely make this next week. Just to share my July childhood birthday “cake”, my Mom would make a strawberry cake with merengue layers instead of pie crust or cake filled with strawberries in the middle, whipped cream over the whole thing then strawberry halves all over the cream.

    She made this just one day a year on my birthday. Wonderful memories of her.

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  4. Tess

    This was delicious but my pie after cooling for over an hour in the fridge was disappointly soupy. :/ maybe I should have boiled longer but it seemed to get thicker and I was afraid of over doing it. My filling also never looked translucent. It always had this opaque pink tinge to it for some reason.

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Todd Kalyniuk

    Tried making this but it did not really firm up the way I hoped. Suggestions? More pectin? More corn starch? Still delicious but not quite beautiful when I cut it up.

    Show Replies (1)
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